Submarines: The Falklands Radio Line

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December 4, 2007: After 25 years, another secret of the Falklands war has been revealed. Back then, Britain used five of its nuclear attack submarines to monitor radio traffic from Argentine air bases, and alert the British ships off the Falklands when an air raid was coming their way. The subs were about 20 kilometers off the Argentine coast, and the early warning give the rest of the British fleet about 45 minutes to prepare for the Argentine air raids. The British nukes suffered a few attacks, but none were damaged. The most dangerous incident was when one of the subs got the long radio antenna wire, trailing behind the sub, tangled in the propeller. The sub had to surface, and eight sailors went into the water to remove the wire. This was done without incident. If the sub was spotted during the wire removal, the sub would have had to submerge immediately, leaving the eight sailors to their fate (drowning or capture.)

This incident was kept secret all this time because the monitoring technique could still be used, until recently replaced with other techniques (which remain secret.)

 


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